Dr. Merlin publishes in Transport Policy

Dr. Louis Merlin published in Transport Policy an article titled “Accessibility analysis for transportation projects and plans.”

We spend billions of dollars on new roadways, but are they making our transportation system work more efficiently? In this paper, Dr. Louis Merlin examines transportation success from two perspectives, firstly, in relation to how fast vehicles are able to travel, and secondly, in relation to how many destinations can be reached. From the perspective of speed, these roadway investments are working; but from the perspective of how many useful destinations can be reached, this study of San Antonio finds that typical radial highway investments may not offer any net benefits. Read the article

Dr. Merlin publishes in Research in Transportation Economics

In the new Research in Transportation Economics article, Dr. Louis A. Merlin examines whether people who move to the intown infill development of Atlantic Station next to Midtown Atlanta travel differently than if they lived elsewhere in the region. He finds that households living in and near Atlantic Station drive significantly less per day than households elsewhere in the region – 18 fewer miles per day – and use walking, biking, and transit more – for 25.9% of their trips.

The upshot is that well-placed infill development actually can help reduce regional levels of congestion, which may be counter-intuitive to some. Read the article

SURP Welcomes Dr. Louis Merlin

The School of Urban and Regional Planning is pleased to welcome Louis A. Merlin, who is a new Assistant Professor starting with the Fall 2016 semester.  Dr. Merlin draws upon a strong background in Mathematics and Operations Research as well as experience as a professional urban planner in his teaching and research. Dr. Merlin is particularly interested in developing mathematical models that shed insight into pressing urban policy questions.

Dr. Merlin’s educational background includes a BA in Mathematics with Honors from Yale, and National Science Foundation funded graduate work towards Master’s Degrees in Operations Research and in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  While at Georgia Tech, he was awarded both the Glatting Jackson Student Award and the American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award.  After a haitus working in professional practice, Merlin earned a doctoral degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, with his research work funded by the prestigious Royster Society of Fellows.

Professionally, Dr. Merlin’s first full-time job was working in data-mining for the marketing department of a credit card company.  Later, after earning his Master’s of City and Regional Planning, he worked as an urban planning consultant for EDAW | AECOM, based out of their Atlanta office. His professional engagements focused on comprehensive planning, redevelopment planning, and corridor planning for local and regional governments throughout the southeastern US.  During this time he specialized in data analysis and modeling for EDAW | AECOM, including economic and fiscal impact assessments as well as land use forecasting.

Dr. Merlin’s current research concerns how to better integrate transportation and land use through the development of accessibility-based performance measures and tools, as well as the implications of self-driving cars for the transportation sustainability.

Dr. Merlin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.